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bidding them to be faithful, and beware of neglecting the important work of mental and moral cultivation. Wisdom is pointing them to future respectability and honor, and urging them by their desires for happiness—their regard for the welfare of society—their veneration of the virtuous and good-by everything that distinguishes them as beings allied to angels, and every consideration, sacred, and holy, and dear to man, to walk in her paths, and to turn not aside from her peaceful and pleasant ways !
HOMER, N. Y. Feb. 15, 1841.
THE RELIGIOUS state of the world, at the coming of our Savior, was deplorable indeed. The Jews, the chosen and peculiar people of God, had abandoned the purity of their worship, and lost sight entirely of its spirituality ;-it was now nothing but an outward act—a mere show-a shadow without the substance. They were divided into many sects or parties; known as Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Herodians.
There were also other classes of men, known as Scribes, Rabbis, and Nazarites. The Pharisees pretended to be a very religious people-to possess much piety, and to live nearer to God, than any other sect. But this was not in reality so. They were not what they pretended to be. The Sadducees were a smaller sect, but still very wealthy and popular. They generally lived very sinful lives, denying that there was any notice taken, by a higher power, of the actions of men. The Essenes were an order of monks, or hermits, living a kind of secluded life. They were said to be very strict as it regarded their religious practices. They denied that it was right to marry, or to strive after riches. Property was held by them in common.
The Herodians were a sect who contended that it was right to practise idolatry, when commanded by their rulers.
They were the creatures of Herod the Great, and took their name from him.
With the exception of the Jews, there was no nation, at the birth of our Savior, that had any knowledge of the sone living and true God.' Men bowed down to Gods of their own formation, and worshiped thousands of senseless objects. And they had become very corrupt and sinful in all their ways,
But there was much in the political state of the world, that was very favorable for the introduction of Christianity, and for its rapid spread among all the nations of the earth. The world was then at peace, and similar laws and language prevailed everywhere ;' so that it was in reality, a fit and proper time for the introduction of the gospel. And it was at this period of universal quietness and peace that Christ made his appearance on the earth.
• Behold, the grace appears,
The blessing promised long;
In this triumphant song ;-
And heavenly peace on earth ;
At the Redeemer's birth.' And he had come to bring back the wandering children to their Father's house—to establish in the earth the kingdom given him of the Most High, in which he shall reign, until he has reconciled and brought home, a lost world, to God.
Birth of Christ—The Object for which he came His appearance announced by John the Baptist--His Coming—Twelve Apostles chosen-The teachings, &c., of Christ–The success which attended him in his Ministry–His Death,
The resurrection of Christ-His ascension-Descent of the Holy Spirit—Effects produced by the preaching of the Apostles—The advancement of the Christian religion-Persecution of the followers of ChristConversion of Saul_Preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles Journeyings and labors of Paul, &c., &c
The Second Coming of Christ, and other Events con
nected with it-The destruction of Jerusalem, and the establishing of the Gospel Dispensation, 23
Remarks concerning the Christian church at this peCHAPTER V'.
riod-Persecution of the followers of Christ-Its extent-Their sufferings, &c.
Difficulties and disturbances within the Church-Per
secution again commences, and continues until the conversion of Constantine-The universal establishment of Christianity,
Spiritual declension-Corruption creeps into the church -Schisms, heresies, &c. &c.
Rise of Mahometanism-Its spread—The condition of
the church in the seventh century—The leaden age -The separation of the Greek and Latin churchesThe Waldenses, their sufferings, &c. &c.—The Albigenses—The treatment they received—The church of Rome, the curse and scourge of the world, 50
Other events noticed-Year of Jubilee established
Difficulties in the Romish church-Wickliffe bornHis labors—Progress of the Reformation in England-Burning of Huss and Jerome-Writings of Wickliffe burned-State of the world at this period,
Commencement of the reformation-Martin Luther
Sale of indulgences—Controversy between Luther and Tetzel-Luther commanded to appear before the pope-Appeals to a council of the whole church